Saturday, February 26, 2011

Beam Me Down Scotty - Into Tonden Kouen

7th May, 2009 - This is without doubt one of L-kun's favourite parks in Sapporo. Tonden Kouen (park), which is some 10km drive north of Sapporo's city centre. If you haven't worked it out yet - the Japanese love the roller-slides. They're every where, and I have to say they look a hoot. Now - you may also worked out that with the coming of Spring, and my return to Adelaide, there was lots of opportunities to go out and have fun in playgrounds. So there are a lot of posts about parks. I hope that this is useful for people coming to Sapporo with young (and not so young) families. 

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The park's main attraction is the slide... and T-chan keeps telling me that it was SCARY to go up the top (then again, she's got less of a head for heights than I do). Still, she was very proud of L-kun's courage to go up to the top and slide down by himself.

Just how tall is it?... VERY according to T-chan. I am very proud of T-chan for braving her own fear of heights to join L-kun. Well done. I can't even tell that the camera was shaking in this photo.

There are lots of other things to climb up, walk across, dangle down from etc etc. There's also no doubt that Japanese playgrounds, whilst they suffer from generally grey-ish sand, more than make up for it with brightly coloured equipment.

L-kun had a full afternoon at the park - and it has the advantage of being right next door to a very large home-centre. I would not however advise using the park as a creche. That would be wrong.

The park does however exercise just about every part of a young child... and I think that the Japanese should be very proud of their efforts to create engaging and yet challenging parks for their children. And of course - to be fair, there are also so very sad, depressing neighbourhood parks as well. But where they do it well, they do it brilliantly.

Including a little construction work for the upper-body strength.

And you can sometimes feel a little lost as to what to do next. 

I have to admit that every time we go back to Sapporo we discover new playgrounds, and each time T-chan turns to me with that wistful look, as if to say "see how much fun Sapporo is!" And indeed, she follows up that look with the words "see how much fun Sapporo is!". She's an open book, is my T-chan. Still she's right. I really have to admit that there's so many great playgrounds in Sapporo... and we haven't covered hardly any of them as yet.

It's enough to make you want to have a sit down and reflect upon things... it's been a good day. I hope however that L-kun was secretly wishing that Daddy was here to share it with him...

 On the way home... Teine-yama stands in the distance. I love Sapporo's surrounding mountains. They're not too imposing, but they embrace the city like a protective blanket.

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